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Damascus Highlights Strong Alliance with Tehran

TEHRAN, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister's Senior Aide for Political Affairs Ali Asqar Khaji, voiced his country's full support for the Iranian nation and the Islamic establishment against all threats and hostile actions.

In a meeting in Damascus on Tuesday, President al-Assad underscored his country's backing for Iran and its leadership, stating that Syria defends Iranians' strive for their rights and stands by them against all threats and acts that violate the basis of the international law.

Assad was then briefed on the developments concerning the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), following the US departure from the 2015 agreement, and Washington's latest escalatory moves in the Middle East region.

The two sides also exchanged viewpoints on Syria's counter-terrorism campaign, counterattacks to assaults being carried out by foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups positioned in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib, initiatives for a political solution to Syria's crisis, the next round of Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Khaji, for his part, pointed to the deeply-rooted relations between Tehran and Damascus, emphasizing that Iran is determined to bolster such ties in all areas in order to serve the interests of both nations.

The Iranian nation and government will continue to support Syria until it liberates all its territory and rebuilds what has been destroyed by the war, he pointed out.

Separately, the Iranian official met and held talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.

They stressed the need for enhanced coordination and consultations between the two countries regarding upcoming international meetings on the political process in Syria, and all-out promotion of bilateral relations.

The two officials then discussed the recent regional developments, and the US economic terrorism against Syria and Iran.

Last month, Chairman of the Syrian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Butrus al-Marjan, in an interview with Izvestia, a Russian leading newspaper, rejected the claims about an agreement on Iranian military advisors' exit from the Arab country, adding that the US is entitled to no rights at all to make decisions for Damascus.

The high-ranking Syrian lawmaker made the remarks on June 04 after some news outlets claimed that Damascus and Washington had stricken a deal about Iranian military advisors leaving the Arab country.

The senior legislator rejected the rumors about curbs in Tehran-Damascus security cooperation.

Damascus has no intention of turning away Iran's military assistance or demanding an Iranian military advisors' withdrawal even in return for an easing of US sanctions, al-Marjan underlined.

The senior lawmaker, according to Russian sources, reiterated that Iran's military assistance to Syria is nothing to be compromised on, highlighting that the US is entitled to no rights to impose its conditions on Damascus.

He clarified that Syria has so far received no official proposal from the US about the claims made by Asharq Al-Awsat which had earlier quoted Western diplomats claiming that the US had proposed to Russia to join Washington's anti-Iran campaign in exchange for the White House's recognition of Bashar al-Assad.

"Washington is not in a position to tell a sovereign state whose troops it may or may not host. The Iranian troops are deployed to our country based on our government's official request and will leave Syria when it is necessary," the lawmaker pointed out.

Back in mid-December, Bashar al-Assad in a meeting with then Special Assistant to Iran's Foreign Minister in Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari lauded the Islamic Republic's assistance in the ongoing fight against the terrorist groups.

"The efforts exerted by Iran resulted in the formation of a committee to discuss the constitution in spite of the big obstacles put by states which support terrorism," President Assad said during the meeting with Jaberi Ansari in Damascus.

The Syrian president also underlined the importance of efforts exerted by the friendly and allied countries of Syria, particularly Iran and Russia, to stop the interference of some western states in consolidating the establishment of a political process led by the Syrians themselves.

In a relevant development in mid-November, Jaberi Ansari and President Assad in a meeting in Damascus vowed to keep up mutual cooperation between Tehran and Damascus on fighting terrorist and extremist groups.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

However, over the past few years, Israel, the closest ally of the US has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats in the battle against Syrian government forces.

Reminding Western and regional supporters of terrorists in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, in a statement in October, lauded Tehran's efforts to fight terrorist groups in the region, and said that Iran's presence in Syria is on Damascus government's request and it is no third party's business.

This is a sovereign country (Syria) led by a legitimate government. It can agree on cooperation with any other country, including Iran and Russia," Bogdanov said on October 12, 2018.

He noted that Syria is a member of the United Nations, and said "The Arab country has equal rights over its self-determination with Russia, the US and any other member of the UN."

Iran has been the main supporter of the Syrian government in the course of the decade long struggle of the Arab nation with foreign-funded terrorism. Syria's closeness to Iran has been the main source of animosity held by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia which have funneled billions of dollars and massive amounts of arms and weapon to terrorist held areas of the war-torn country to make Syria pay for its alliance with Iran.

Source: Fars News Agency